A Guide to Local SEO for Dental Practices
Dental marketing is all about reaching your target patients at the right time and getting them to schedule an appointment at your dental practice. For several dentists, this requires large marketing budgets and investments, and yet, many still struggle to reach their desired marketing or business goals.
As dental marketers learn more about digital marketing and consumer trends, it’s become clear that we need to consider patients’ location when developing dental marketing campaigns. Today, 97% of consumers use search engines to learn about local businesses. So, it is important to meet these consumers, or patients, where they are by implementing location-specific marketing strategies.
Local SEO is the key to executing successful location-specific dental marketing strategies. In this article, we’ll highlight the importance of local SEO and share tips on how you can improve your dental practice’s local SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO refers to a set of actions that improves your dental website’s visibility and searchability. It is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. As the name suggests, it involves optimizing your dental website to be more visible or rank higher on search engines like Google. We already know that patients use these search engines to look up dental services, so SEO helps us meet them there.
There are three types of SEO: on-page, off-page and technical. On-page SEO involves making changes directly on your dental website. Off-page SEO involves building relationships with and taking action on other websites, or tools, in a way that impacts your website’s visibility and searchability. On the other hand, technical SEO is all about ensuring your website meets search engines’ technical requirements.
Together, these three types of SEO can significantly impact your website’s performance and ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs.) Of the three, technical SEO is the most complex or challenging to figure out. So, we highly recommend that you speak with a technical SEO specialist who can work with you to ensure your dental website meets search engines’ technical requirements.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO are optimization efforts that focus on increasing your dental website’s visibility to patients who enter local searches in search engines.
Local searches refer to location-specific search queries such as ‘Invisalign cost Phoenix.’ These search queries will result in listings, on SERPs, that are specific to a particular region. For example, in this case, Google’s results will feature dentists and dental practice in Pheonix that offer Invisalign as a dental treatment.
Local SEO ensures your website is listed for search queries specific to your practice’s location, region, or geographical area. While traditional SEO focuses on boosting your website’s visibility on a broader scale, local SEO helps you attract nearby prospective patients to your dental practice.
Best Practices for Improving Your Dental Practice’s Local SEO
We’ve defined SEO and Local SEO and established the difference between both. If you’re going to be optimizing your dental website, you are better off focusing on Local SEO so that you can attract who can actually access your dental services. Here are eight quick tips to help you do just that:
- Conduct Keyword Research
The first step to take is to conduct keyword research. This will ensure your dental website ranks for the best location-specific dental search queries. Essentially, you want to make sure that your website and paid ads include adequate mentions of the right keywords. The more relevant and specific your keywords are, the better your chance of ranking higher on Google’s SERPs.
To get started on your keyword research, use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahref, SEMRush, or Moz to determine the search queries used by dental patients in your local area. Alternatively, you can outsource your keyword research to a dental marketing agency that offers Local SEO for dentists.
- Add, Claim or Optimize Your Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google’s search engine and Google Maps. It is essentially a listing or profile that shows up when internet users look up your practice online. To get the most out of your Local SEO, you should make sure you’ve added, claimed, or optimized your dental practice’s Google My Business profile.
- Submit Dental Practice Information to Directories
Another great way to improve your Local SEO is by listing your dental practice on dental directories and dental review sites. These directories are usually organized into categories, such as cities, to help prospective patients find dentists and dental practices nearby. However, Google’s crawlers also use the information on these directories to organize its search results and showcase local practices to patients in the region.
- Improve Your On-page SEO
On-page SEO is all about using the right keywords, backlinks, and title tags in your dental website’s content and copy. This is where your keyword research comes into play. You want to make sure your website includes location-specific keywords and relevant information to patients in your local area. We recommend that you work with an on-page SEO specialist to help you get this done the right way.
- Run Local Search Ads Campaigns
Your keyword research is also helpful for running and managing local search ads campaigns. As the name implies, local search ads are paid ads that target patients in a particular region. The ads can show up at the top of Google’s SERPs, Google Maps, or banners on different digital platforms. They are highly recommended as they help increase your practice’s brand awareness and website visibility. Talk to Connect the Doc dental marketing expert about setting up your local search ads campaigns.
- Encourage Patients to Share their Reviews Online
Online reviews that mention or reference your dental practice are a great way to attract more local dental patients to your business. These reviews can be shared on your Google My Business profile, dental directories or review sites, or directly on your website. Google’s crawlers use these reviews to learn more about the value and relevance of your dental services to nearby patients.
If you’re wondering how you get to gather more online reviews for your dental practice, you should start by asking your high-value patients to share their feedback online. Give them clear direction on where they can publish their reviews, or better yet, use Connect the Doc to automate the process of asking, gathering, and sharing your online reviews.
Local SEO is an excellent way to target nearby patients at the right time and get them to learn more about your dental practice or schedule an appointment with you. This saves you time, cost and improves your ROI. It’s about time you started getting your money’s worth from your dental marketing efforts, so contact a Connect the Doc marketing expert to do just that!